Union Station serves approximately quarter of a million passengers each day!

Union Station serves approximately quarter of a million passengers each day!

As the busiest rail passenger transportation facility in Canada, Union Station serves approximately a quarter of a million passengers each day!

Union Station’s hours of operation are 5:30 a.m.-12:45 a.m. daily or until last train.

Union Station is a designated National Historic Site

Union Station is a designated National Historic Site

Even though Union Station is a designated National Historic Site, it is is undergoing an extreme makeover for modernization which started last year at the south side of the train shed, and over the next several years will progress to the north end of the building.

The extreme makeover of Union Station will result in many modern and convenient benefits, including:

  • Improved Platform Access: Toronto and GO Transit will build more stairs and elevators to the train platforms, making your trip to and from your train faster and easier.
Revitalized Union Station's Improved Platform Access: more entrances and exits.

Revitalized Union Station's Improved Platform Access: more entrances and exits.

  • New South Platform: has provided much-needed elbow room – both during construction and for future growth.

  • Train Shed Roof Revitalization: the historic roof will be revitalized, providing a cleaner, brighter waiting area at track level.
Future Glass Atrium at Union Station

Future Glass Atrium at Union Station

  • Signal Modernization: a modernized system will improve reliability and allow trains to move more quickly in and out of Union station.
  • Track Improvements: upgrades will improve reliability and make your ride smoother.
  • Midday Storage of GO Trains: storing some GO Trains just east and west of Union Station improves the flow of trains during afternoon rush hour.
Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of cells containing a photovoltaic material.

Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of cells containing a photovoltaic material.

At night time the glass atrium of the Revitalized Union Staion will illuminate the sky.

At night time the glass atrium of the Revitalized Union Staion will illuminate the sky.

  • an expanded GO concourse with:
  1. A new, brighter train shed structure with installation of a glass atrium over the top of the tracks allowing light and openness down onto your platforms; louvers in the glass atrium will be able to open and close to increase the overall air circulation; and at night time, the glass atrium will illuminate the sky.
  2. Remaining portions of the train shed’s roof will be a green roof which will be covered with photovoltaic cells (solar cells as shown above) and low maintenance plants in order to help reduce the “heat island” effect that raises temperatures in urban areas, reduce the concentration of rainwater run-off, and generate electricity to offset the needs of Union station.
  3. Many more new elevators and staircases will be installed to significantly improve vertical access between platforms and concourses as well as alleviate commuter congestion.
  4. New, updated electrical and communication systems to improve service reliability and keep you informed.

  • two new GO Transit concourses: new York Street GO Concourse and  Bay Street GO Concourse at Union Station
Escalators leading down to the proposed retail level from the Bay Street GO Concourse at Union Station.

Escalators leading down to the proposed retail level from the Bay Street GO Concourse at Union Station.

  • new, lower-level pedestrian retail concourse:

Union Station is located in the heart of Toronto on Front street and Bay street in Ontario, Canada.

This extreme makeover of Union Station is known as:

Union Station Revitalization

Union Station Revitalization is a $640-million City initiative supported by investments of $164 million by the Government of Canada and $172 million by the Government of Ontario.

Construction for the Union Station Revitalization started on January 11, 2010.

And the overall target completion date is 2015  for Union Station Revitalization.

The Union Station Revitalization‘s objectives are:

  • to promote Union Station as Canada’s premier multi-modal transportation hub for national and regional rail passenger services with
  • improvements in the quality and capacity of pedestrian movement to and from the station to improve traffic flow,
  • restore the station’s heritage elements and aging infrastructure, and
  • transform the station into a major destination for shopping, dining and visiting.

The exquisite features that marked Union Station as a designated National Historic Site include:

  • designed in the Beaux-Arts style,
  • monumental in design,
  • the Great Hall features a coffered vault ceiling of Gustavino tiles,
  • the shape of the ceiling is echoed in the four-storey, barrel-vaulted windows on the east and west walls;
  • mid-way up the north and south walls are carved names of the cities that were then serviced by the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) and the Canadian National Railway (CNR); the list alternates from side to side, naming the cities from east to west;
  • interior walls of Union Station are of Zumbro stone from Missouri
  • floors are Tennessee marble, laid in a herringbone pattern;
  • exterior walls of Union station are Indiana and Queenston limestone; and
  • each of the 22 Bedford limestone columns weights 75 tons and is 40 feet high.

Please click here to learn more about the City’s plans for Union Station Revitalization.

The first milestone achieved on the Union Station Revitalization is the new bike station in the heart of the city with the following highlights:

The New Bike Station at Union Station

The New Bike Station at Union Station

  • located on the east side of York Street, just north of Bremner at Union Station,
  • owned by the City of Toronto and operated by the City’s Transportation Services division,
  • 84 bicycle racks but can accommodate up to 160 customers in a 24-hour period,
  • open to paying members 24/7, seven days a week,
  • fully secure, indoor bike station is designed to meet the public’s transportation needs and includes:
  1. a change room;
  2. vending machine with emergency goods, energy bars and beverages;
  3. fully functional water closet is also under construction;
  4. as entry requires a key fob, non-members can use the bike station when an attendant is onsite between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Please click here to become a member, or to find out about fees.

The old bike station, which was located on the west side of York Street, is being transformed into a catering space for VIA Rail.

The new concourse level of the revitalized Union Station will have more access points, which will reduce bottle-necks during rush hour and provide direct access to the subway concourse and a new northwest PATH connection.

PATH is downtown Toronto’s underground walkway linking 28 kilometres (17 miles) of shopping, services and entertainment with the following features for your convenience:

  • There are more than 125 grade level access points and 60 decision points where a pedestrian has to decide between turning left or right, or continuing straight on.
  • The average size of a connecting link is 20 metres (66 ft.) long by 6 metres (20 ft.) wide.
  • The building furthest north on the PATH network is the Toronto Coach Terminal at Dundas and Bay Streets.
  • The building furthest south that can be accessed through PATH is the Toronto Convention Centre’s Convention South Building. PATH does not follow the grid patterns of the streets above.
  • New south tunnel to Union Plaza, Air Canada Centre, and Maple Leaf Square.
  • PATH also connects to some of Toronto’s major tourist and entertainment attractions such as:
  1. Hockey Hall of Fame,
  2. Roy Thomson Hall,
  3. Air Canada Centre,
  4. Rogers Centre,
  5. CN Tower,
  6. City Hall and
  7. Metro Hall

Follow PATH and you’ll reach your downtown destination easily in weatherproof comfort as shown in the following map:

The new Union Station will also provide more stairs and escalators in the concourse level for better access to the station and the streets.

The revitalization of Union Station will help improve national and regional rail passenger services.

Pedestrian concourses will be enhanced to improve traffic flow; retail services capacity will be increased; the west wing will be renovated and heritage aspects of the building will be restored.

On Monday, June 13 at 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., City of Toronto and the media will go on a site tour of Union Station to see the “dig down,” one of the initial and most significant stages of this Union Station Revitalization.

The “dig down” involves the following major excavation work and structural changes at Union Station:

  • excavating several metres below the existing floor level and
  • the replacement of hundreds of concrete columns to create the space for a new, lower-level pedestrian retail concourse and two new GO Transit concourses.;
  • this construction is happening behind the scenes immediately below the train tracks while the trains are in operation.

Here is a silent video showing you the blueprint plans for the Union Station Revitalization:

Voilà! The revitalized Union Station in 2015 will look like this, externally:

The New Revitalized Union Station

The New Revitalized Union Station

and like this, internally:

Toronto's Union Station Revitalization is Revisited on June 13, 2011

Toronto's Union Station Revitalization is Revisited on June 13, 2011

Please click here for more info on the above listed improvements of Union Station.

This media advisory is in English and French (français ci-dessous) as a joint Government of Canada, Government of Ontario and City of Toronto media advisory.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Media Advisory

June 8, 2011

Major excavation work and structural changes underway at Union Station

One year after breaking ground on the Union Station Revitalization, the City of Toronto invites the media on a site tour of Union Station to see the “dig down,” one of the initial and most significant stages of this unique project. The dig down involves excavating several metres below the existing floor level and the replacement of hundreds of concrete columns, to create the space for a new, lower-level pedestrian retail concourse and two new GO Transit concourses. This construction is happening behind the scenes immediately below the train tracks while the trains are in operation.

Date: Monday, June 13

Time: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Union Station, 65 Front St. W., Toronto

Directions: Enter through the Great Hall and head towards the east wing. Wait by the clock in the Great Hall and a City communications representative will greet you.

Note: Members of the media are required to pre-register by sending an email to nkuyumc@toronto.ca. Safety gear is not required. Tripods, cabling, external lighting and shore power are not permitted.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Avis aux médias

Le 8 juin 2011

Travaux d’excavation majeurs et changements structurels en cours à la gare Union

Un an après le début du projet de modernisation de la gare Union, la Ville de Toronto invite les journalistes à visiter le site de la gare Union pour voir le travail d’excavation, l’une des étapes initiales les plus importantes de ce projet unique. Cette étape comprend l’excavation de plusieurs mètres sous le niveau du plancher actuel ainsi que le remplacement de centaines de colonnes de béton pour créer un espace pour une nouvelle galerie piétonnière marchande à un niveau inférieur et deux nouveaux halls de gare Go Transit. Ce travail palpitant est effectué en arrière-plan, juste au-dessous de la voie ferrée et pendant que les trains circulent.

Date : Le lundi 13 juin

Heure : 9 h 30 à 11 h 30

Lieu : Gare Union, 65 Front Street West, Toronto

Directions: Entrez dans le grand hall et dirigez-vous vers l’aile est. Rendez-vous près de l’horloge qui se trouve dans le grand hall. Un représentant des communications de la Ville viendra à votre rencontre.

Note : Les représentants des médias doivent s’inscrire au préalable. RSVP: nkuyumc@toronto.ca.  Équipement protecteur non requis. Le câblage, l’éclairage et l’alimentation électrique externes ne sont pas permis.

Toronto est la plus grande ville du Canada et occupe le sixième rang en importance au pays pour ce qui est de son gouvernement. Sa population diversifiée compte environ 2,6 millions de personnes. Le gouvernement de Toronto s’est engagé à offrir des services à la clientèle d’excellence, à mettre en place un gouvernement transparent et responsable, à réduire la taille du gouvernement et les coûts qui s’y rattachent et à construire une ville de transports. Pour obtenir des renseignements sur les programmes et  les services autres que les services d’urgence offerts par la Ville, les résidents et les entreprises de Toronto, de même que les visiteurs peuvent composer le 311 en tout temps.

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